Donaire feels at home in LA boutBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
NONITO Donaire Jr., is counting on the support of the large Filipino community in Los Angeles when he goes up against his biggest opponent yet.
He vowed to use his complete training regimen including altitude simulation, sparring with partners two weight classes above him and muscle build-up against 5-foot-10 South African champion Jeffrey Mathebula in their world super bantamweight title unification bout on July 7 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
And he hopes to get inspiration and morale boost from many of his countrymen who are expected to show up at the 8,000-seater tennis stadium of the venue famous for being the home turf of David Beckham’s LA Galaxy.
“It’s great to be back in the Bay Area,” said Donaire, who was born in Gen. Santos City and then migrated to San Leandro, California, when he was 11. “There are a lot of fans out there and a lot of Filipino fans. My first fight was in LA and there are a lot of Filipino fans out there.”
“There is a very large concentration of Filipino people in Carson of the Home Depot Center and we are distributing literature and other materials to that community and we expect many to attend the event,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
In a transcript of his conference call, Donaire, the WBO champion with a 28-1-0 record with 18 KOs, said he’s 100 percent ready for the fight although he’s still a few pounds off the 122-lb limit in his title date with Mathebula, who carries a 26-3-2 record with 14 KOs.
“We have looked at ways of how he is going to fight,” said the 5-foot-5½ Donaire of the IBF titlist whom Arum said came from the legendary tribe of Zulu. “He is going to use his range and use his height. He is going to go out there and throw combinations.”